We live in an increasingly chemical world. However, many of the effects of chemical use are still being discovered. 

Projects in this area explore the pressing, universal issues surrounding chemical production and the subsequent risks to human and environmental health. Through access to leading and emerging scholars and the combination of original and historically grounded social-scientific studies on issues of contemporary political importance, projects in this area strive to provide accessible resources to those interested in chemical regulatory practices, as well as connection to the histories of those working on behalf of effective environmental safeguards.


  1. Make contemporary research usable, accessible, and relevant to a large constituency (through various multimedia formats).
  2. Pinpoint main stakeholders and their relationships to one another (governments, industry, community groups and citizens, scientists and engineers).
  3. Generate discussion on contemporary regulatory and policy issues by using historical perspectives and making connections across cultures and time periods.
  4. Act as a leading, active resource for all those interested in historical and contemporary issues regarding the chemical sciences (with an environmental focus).

Related projects

* The Environmental History and Policy Program introduces The Consortium for Community Based Science, as part of the C3 project.

Need Meeting Space?

CHF’s state-of-the-art conference center is in Philadelphia’s beautiful historic district.

Sensing Change

See your environment with fresh eyes through this online exhibit.

Fellowships at CHF

CHF’s scholars, who spend anywhere from one to nine months in residence, form a vital part of CHF’s intellectual life.

Hear It Firsthand

CHF’s Center for Oral History captures and preserves the stories of notable figures in chemistry and related fields. Many of the oral histories in the collection belong to recipients of CHF awards, including


Historically Grounded Perspectives

The Center for Contemporary History and Policy explores issues ranging from energy to medicine on CHF's blog, Periodic Tabloid.